Belatedly, Zimbabwe recently declared its currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, worthless. The marketplace recognized the worthlessness of the Z$ in 2009, when the Zimbabwe government adopted the US dollar as its main currency. Account holders with Z$ balances of zero to Z$175 quadrillion will be paid a flat US$5. A “quadrillion” has fifteen zeros.
In a statement that could not have been more blunt, last week the IMF told Japan that it needs to print more money to ensure that its economy will not slip into recession. Specifically, the IMF wants the Bank of Japan to push inflation to 2 percent. Japan’s inflation rate is near zero.
Despite our constant attention to news, we listen and view with disdain, knowing full well that what we hear and see is often distorted to get us to react and think in specific ways. In short, the news is slanted. Sometimes, slanted news coverage is exposed, but rarely is it exposed as was the case
In a move that is supposed to fillip economic activity, China’s central bank cut interest rates again. While interest rates in China are not at near zero levels as in the US, the move further signifies that the Bank of China has fully embraced Keynesian economics, which have not stimulated economic activity in the US
After not being significantly large enough to make headlines for years, the US trade deficit is back in the news after ballooning 40% to $51 billion in March. $37.8 billion of the deficit was with China. The CBO projects a record high $486 billion trade deficit for fiscal 2015.
Establishment economic thinking is that the “right” rate of inflation is 2%. Thoughts on this position can be found here: The Goal of 2% Inflation, Rethought — New York Times. Japan is falling far short of 2% inflation, despite the Bank of Japan buying ¥80 trillion worth of bonds each month. Analysts are now speculating
In a video interview with Barron’s editor Jack Otter, famed Swiss investment advisor, fund manager and publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report Marc Faber gives his economic views for 2015.
As European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has been promising (threatening?) for more than a year, the ECB finally is about to begin a quantitative easing program. The program most likely will run for two years.
With the national debt now exceeding $18 trillion and having jumped 70% in the last six years, there are many cries for a return to the gold standard, which, it is believed, would limit government spending that has resulted in the massive increases in the national debt. A gold standard is a monetary system in
“The slump in global oil prices,” reports the Financial Times (1/6/15), bolsters “the case for an ambitious programme of government bond buying by the European Central Bank.” In Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy, consumer prices in December rose only 0.1 percent versus 0.5 percent the year to November.
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